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Q & A with Jan Jones: Part 11 – Can Executive Assistants be effective working remotely?

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and
executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed
international executive assistant to well-known business people,
including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless,
practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.


For the past three years, FlyPrivate has been a proud partner and associate of Jan Jones. Jan brings valuable, actionable information to EAs across the globe. We hope you enjoy her blogs as much as we do!

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1-10!

FlyPrivateCan executive assistants be effective if they are working remotely?  What about virtual assistants? Can executives have their business needs met by using remote or virtual assistants?

Jan Jones: As the old saying goes, “there’s horses for courses”.
Meaning depending on the circumstances or conditions, assistants can be effective working remotely and many executives can have their business needs met by using remotely-located or virtual
assistants. We should take a closer look at the circumstances under which executives could function effectively using assistants who are working remotely, or are virtual assistants, to determine how
effective they can be.

Let’s take working remotely first. Actually, this is not something new. I was recently speaking with a former CEO of an international fast food organization. He told me that in the 1980s, within a few months of each other, several of his company’s assistants became pregnant, or wanted to leave due to their childcare situations. Since they had been with the company a long time and he didn’t want to lose their years of experience, he set them up with computers in their homes. He told them, “I don’t care when or how you work, just get the work done and deliver it on time.”  Technology today makes computers affordable and the internet gives us immense freedom to work from just about anywhere we choose, so it makes sense that remote and virtual assistants are gaining in popularity.

But how suitable is it for an executive who needs a certain level of support from an assistant? I checked in with two of the best, most celebrated executive assistants I know: Penni Pike former assistant to Sir Richard Branson for 31 years and Debbie Gross who spent over 25 years as assistant to John Chambers, former CEO and
current Executive Chairman of Cisco Systems. Both ladies are
featured in my book “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”.

Penni told me “Richard included me in everything”, which is how she came to know and understand the Virgin business and what
mattered most to her boss. When I asked her about assistants
working remotely she said, “I can’t understand that because I always worked so closely with Richard. He needed his assistant by his side. People at the very top have to have someone who works with them like that. Otherwise, if they need something urgently, the assistant is not there. Richard needs someone with him all the time.”

Debbie Gross said, “For administrative professionals, working
remotely has become more of the ‘norm’ in today’s business world partly due to the change in business models.  Many administrators support teams that are based around the world and are never
actually in a traditional office.  With the advance in video
technologies, it has definitely become easier to work remotely.

“That being said, one of the key roles I believe an administrator plays is their ability to build relationships across all levels and be the eyes and ears for the people they support.  Harder to do effectively from a ‘home-office’ environment. This was a critical component of my role supporting a CEO making working remotely not really an
option. John always expected me to be the ‘face’ of the office
especially when he traveled.  When he would check in while on the road he always asked how things were going at the office, so I felt it was key that I be present there. It was about noticing what was
going on around me with other members of the organization and
being able to feel the pulse and morale and share that with John.  He was pretty adamant that executive assistants be in the office, so I am not sure I would have been hired to support him if one of my
requirements was to work from home. Many senior level executives prefer to have their executive assistants in the office, especially the higher they are in their organizations.”

This has also been my experience in my career as an executive
assistant. My jobs were much too interactive with my boss, staff, clients and vendors for me to be outside the office. Like Debbie Gross, my executives counted on me to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and their ‘face’ to the world. Situations were constantly arising that needed my immediate attention. Leaving my desk to go pick up a sandwich at lunchtime could prove tricky. When I worked for bosses who were constantly traveling, on the rare days they were
scheduled to be in the office, I brought my lunch to work so I would not have to be away from my desk for more than a few minutes. Meetings were being set up, canceled or moved at a moment’s
notice, people would drop by unannounced, phone calls were being made, sometimes I was holding 2 or 3 calls at the same time, project approvals were needed, documents required signature, and there were always more travel arrangements to be made, changed or
canceled. Most executives I worked for were constantly calling out for me and I tried to always be within earshot, or have my assistant or someone listen out and let me know if I was being yelled for.  How would I have managed all this remotely?

I am currently working on a project with an assistant who is located remotely and I find it arduous. Work that should take 2 days is taking 5 or 6 due to the back and forth across international time zones. Yet, I am constantly meeting assistants who say they’ve negotiated with their executives to work remotely. Perhaps these executives have become accustomed to doing many tasks their assistants should be doing, or much of the work their assistants do for them is not of an urgent or time-sensitive nature.  Their assistants probably aren’t functioning as their liaison or deputy as I did, or as Gross and Pike did for their executives.

A big negative with the arrangement of assistants working remotely is the burden it places on assistants who are working at the office. I hear complaints that the remote assistants show themselves as “available”, but when they are contacted they don’t respond for hours, sometimes even an entire day goes by when they are not
responding to emails, texts or phone calls.  The urgency arises to schedule or re-schedule meetings, for example, but the assistant can’t be reached. If the executive is traveling, neither the executive nor their assistant can be reached and too much time is being spent by other assistants trying to contact them, cover for them, or
wasting time putting their own tasks on hold waiting for a response. I’ve inquired why these assistants don’t insist HR or the remote
assistant’s boss does something about it. HR tells them the boss agreed the assistant could work remotely when they hired them, so there’s nothing they can do. This is a cop-out by HR and the
executive. They must step up and consider the overall effects this situation has on the company. If this arrangement were impeding my workplace productivity, I would actively agitate for it to be changed. I would lobby HR not to allow executives to agree to letting their
assistants work remotely, but instead offer it as an option with
certain conditions, mainly that the assistant proves they are mature and responsible enough to warrant that privilege.

The bigger concern I have for assistants working remotely is how do they learn the business? How do they grow and expand in the role if they are not there to witness the daily ins and outs of the business environment? How do they develop a relationship of trust and
familiarity with their executive if they are not in physical proximity to each other? Ultimately, are they setting themselves up to become redundant? With warnings about A.I. and virtual assistants stepping in to fill many of the routine tasks assistants do, I would pay close
attention to developing skills and processes that make me more valuable and available to my executive.

The exception to this is assistants who have been with their
executive a long time, have built up a strong relationship with an
understanding of the business and each other. If the business is in a mature phase, or the executive’s role is such that they can be gone for periods of time, their assistants have the freedom to work remotely.

Penni mentioned that she thought assistants working remotely might get lonely. Debbie also addressed this from her experience at Cisco. “3 years ago I came to recognize that at Cisco, there was a whole administrative community that worked remotely and in
talking with several of these administrative professionals it became clear that they all felt a sense of isolation from the broader
administrative community.  As a result we pulled together this group and created an initiative known as G.R.A.C.E. – Global Remote
Administrators Connecting Effectively.  This is a group of remote
administrators who come together once a quarter to discuss the challenges they are facing, as well as review of best practices that help them feel connected.

“One of the key areas discussed was the challenge of developing a relationship with the leader because they were remote.  I strongly encourage administrative professionals who are working remotely to make it a point to travel to the corporate office at least once a year and even better, quarterly if they can, in order to ‘connect’ with their peers, meet the people they interface with across the
organization and become ‘visible’ – putting a face to the voice.  I also always suggest that remote administrators attend networking events and administrative conferences to learn and engage with
others in their profession. Working remotely certainly has its
advantages. However, administrative professionals can be even more effective by not isolating themselves. I feel that it is in our
administrative DNA that we connect with others and build strong relationships and that means we have to get out of ‘home-office’
environment to do that.  Many of Cisco’s G.R.A.C.E. members are now coming to the corporate office and networking with their peers, enriching their relationships and friendships and growing their knowledge and ultimately being of greater assistance to the leaders they support.”

Virtual Assistants: I often meet assistants who tell me they are
toying with the idea of trying out being a VA because they perceive it as a freeing experience. The purpose of including information about the VA profession in this article is to help assistants understand what it takes to survive and thrive as a VA.

Thanks to technology, there is a role for virtual assistants in the
business world. I remember from the pre-internet days, a friend of mine who worked at a large university would earn extra money
using her home computer to type students’ assignments, or
professors’ presentations. It stands to reason then, that with the freedom the internet offers us, that the virtual assistant profession would flourish.  Originally, this was a service that many
single-operator or small businesses used, but it is becoming more common for established businesses with ample resources to seek out the services of virtual assistants.

Penni Pike is an advisor for Time, etc., the virtual assistant service started in the UK, but now successfully established in the USA as well. Penni was brought on board by the company’s founder,
Barnaby Lashbrooke to guide them in setting up the business. He said Penni provided invaluable insight into how the EA-Executive
relationship should work and what kind of support executives need. Assistants chosen to work for Time, etc., go through a thorough
vetting process, not only for administrative skills, but for
inter-personal skills such as a client-focused viewpoint,
responsiveness to clients requests, attention to detail and so on. Their VAs are a mix of mid-to-high level, offering a range of skills that are “not all admin based, but include the strategic management side of business as well” said Barnaby.

He says the VA role is not suited for everyone. Many assistants are better suited to working in an office, so Time, etc., probes the prospective assistant’s reasons for wanting to be a VA. This is an
important aspect of the vetting process because it would be
disruptive if clients like working with a particular assistant and
develop an effective working relationship, only to find out the
assistant has moved on. Quality assistants with young families who need the flexibility of working from home, yet still need to bring in an income, are the most typical profile of a VA.

Anita Armas of Anita D. Armas Administrative Services from West Covina in California told me she started her VA business because she needed freedom and flexibility when she was looking for a way to be at home with her young children while still earning an income. Anita said, “I knew there was a way to use my skills and experience to do just that but wasn’t sure how, then I heard about virtual
assistants. My husband’s business was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008 and I needed another way to bring in additional income, so I officially began marketing myself as a virtual assistant and I soon gained my first client.”

I asked Anita what mindset a person needs to be successful as a VA. “Aside from skills, in order to be successful as a virtual assistant one must be confident, resourceful, thick-skinned, adaptable, a great communicator and have a servant’s heart. As a VA business owner, my business success depends greatly on the success of my clients. A successful VA will not just be a “doer” but will be innovative and strategically invested in his or her clients business, in order to know how to best support their client. A willingness to learn and grow are key,” says Anita. She added that some of the pitfalls a VA can
experience include the client not seeing the VA as an autonomous business owner and leaning towards an employer/employee
mentality. The client feeling a sense of exclusivity, thinking they are the only client the VA has, and lack of communication between the VA and the client.

When assistants tell me they are considering becoming a VA, I
caution them that before they leave a secure, well-paying job with benefits and career advancement opportunities, they should
consider how the uncertainty of not immediately having a steady
income might impact them. They should consider whether or not they are cut out for working alone and whether they are sufficiently disciplined to get down to work every day when they have the
option to work at their own time and pace. It’s easy to romanticize being your own boss when you are operating from the safety of a
secure job. The reality of being self employed can be a wakeup call when you have to prospect for business, deal with unhappy clients, pay bills, collect payments and furnish your own healthcare. Many VAs thrive in the role and others, after a mild flirtation with
independence, gladly return to the security of a full time job.
Evaluate your skills, your disposition and your self-discipline
thoroughly before you venture into the VA world. It is not for
everyone, particularly if you decide not to work through a platform such as Time, etc., preferring to source business on your own.

What’s exciting about all this is the many options assistants of all
calibers and experience levels have at their disposal today.  When you get excited about the opportunities, be sure to think through the potential downsides, not just the upsides. Use this article to make a Pros and Cons list for yourself. I wish you success in whatever you decide.

Author: Jan Jones

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones


We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

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Summer Travel Plans?

Q. Where are you traveling this summer?
                              
A.  Wherever you want!

Summer is the perfect time to get away to your favorite vacation destination! Whether you desire to spend your free time in the Hamptons, on Nantucket, or prefer a
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Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

 

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Your Jet Set Pet

Photo courtesy of Sit ‘N Stay Global

Pets & Jets: What You Need to Know

1. Always tell us in advance if you plan to travel with your pet. We want to ensure that your aircraft is pet friendly and the crew is not allergic to pets.

2. Keep in mind that the rules and regulations will change if you’re flying internationally and each country does have varying laws about the importation of pets.

3. Bring a small, carry-on kennel or crate so your pet is safe during take-off and landing. Most jets allow dogs to fly outside of the crate by their owners’ side during the rest of the flight, as long as they are well behaved.

4. If traveling with your dog, bring a harness in case there is
turbulence on the flight. This will allow the dog to be strapped to a designated seating area with his owner.

5. Bring a cozy blanket your dog can use as a bed during the flight. The blanket will also help protect the seats on the jet from damage.

6. If you’re flying during your pet’s mealtime, be sure to pack food for your dog or we will be happy to arrange to have dog treats on the flight.

7. You may also wish to bring a quiet toy or bone to keep your dog occupied and quiet during the flight.

8. Make sure your pet gets a bathroom break before boarding the aircraft. If you’re planning a longer trip and need a stop-over during your flight to give your dog a break, let us know in advance and we will arrange this for you.

Photo courtesy of the Robb Report

Flying with Pets in the U.S.

The US Department of Transportation and the Department of
Agriculture has the following guidelines for flying with pets within the United States:

1. Dogs & cats must be at least 8 weeks old.
2. Animals must already have been weaned.
3. You must carry proof of a rabies vaccination.
4. Each State has specific Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Dog Pilot_background

Our experts are always at your service. Please contact us if you have any questions about pet-friendly flights or if we can help you book your next trip.

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

The Super Yacht Industry in the Wake of the 2017 Hurricane Season

The author John ‘Mac’ McDonald, Owner of Mega Yacht Services,
originally hails from Newport, Rhode Island. He spent his early years
sailing lasers, 420s and 470s which initiated a life long passion for sailing and the ocean/water sports.  A career in finance pulled him away from the water for an extended period and he spent 18 years working on the Chicago and New York options exchanges. It was during this time that his burgeoning interest in food and wine led him to start exploring
investment opportunities in this sector. In 2015 he took the plunge and purchased Mega Yacht Services, a business established in St. Maarten 16 years previously. His business acumen and experience on Wall Street
provides him with a unique understanding of what high net worth
individuals want and expect from a service provider in this market. Mega Yacht Services is now entering a new chapter as John drives the
company’s expansion into Europe.


As St. Maarten recovers from the worst storm we have faced in over 100 years, it gives me a little time to reflect on the super yacht
industry and its past, present and future. Formerly dominated by sheikhs and tsars and Russian oligarchs, we are starting  to see a more diverse mix of people getting involved in the Super Yacht and Private Jet world. A new class of 30-something American tech
millionaires are entering the market for the first time with 54 meter motor yachts, along with new purpose-built expedition boats
running the Northwest Passage and heading to Antarctica. Along with new destinations, they’re bringing with them a change in the quality and type of the experience they expect. No longer are caviar and champagne nights on the yacht at anchor or at the dock the standard experience. These super yachts are starting to get used as designed, moving frequently between ports with support
crew moving along with the yacht, while private jets are tasked with dropping guests and owners at one port and picking them up
elsewhere at the end of the week. It’s a dynamic time in the luxury travel industry and I am looking forward to what is to come as the mentality incorporates more mobility, and as new ports open up, which means new opportunities.

This trend towards seeking out new experiences has led to more
super yachts towing ‘tenders’ (28’ to 40’ center consoles and even 35’ sport fishers) this season than ever in the past. They allow guests quick, dry access to more remote spots while aboard, or spots where the water is too shallow for the yacht. On one trip through the Northwest Passage, the towed tender was the thing that made the trip for the bosses and guests, giving them closer approaches to
icebergs and creating life-changing memories like seeing narwhals and other sea life surfacing next to the boat. As that owner and many others make plans for their next big trips, the towed tender will be a big part of the equation.

Along with new experiences come new challenges. These new must-see destinations include locations that are not accessible by general aviation for transfers. This has really opened the door for private jet charter companies to step up and offer destinations that are not easy to get to directly from normal aviation options.  As the yacht industry becomes more dynamic, transportation options have to
follow suit.  Clients who might have previously settled for a small commercial flight are now landing at private terminals, being
shuttled to the yacht via helicopter and then returning the same way, and discovering that they prefer it, for security and privacy as well as convenience.

It is an exciting time to be in this industry.  As far as purchases, we are seeing a smaller inventory in what is for sale in the 150’ to 170’ range; boats are moving and people are stepping up in size as
vacations become more bespoke and charter guests make the move to become owners. As mobile access and working from home or
remote becomes more commonplace, I expect to see more people using their yachts as an intrinsic part of their lifestyle rather than just for vacations and short breaks away from the norm.

John ‘Mac’ McDonald
Mega Yacht Services
Plaza Del Lago
Simpson Bay SXM
721.524.4608
mac@megayachtservice.com
www.megayachtservice.com

FlyPrivate to The Masters© 2018

Photo courtesy of The Masters© Golf Tournament

The Masters© Golf Tournament is right around the corner and the Augusta National Golf Club is not the only place in the Augusta area busy preparing for the festivities to be held April 2nd-8th, 2018. If you’re planning to use private aviation to get you to and from the
action on the fairway, it is imperative that you plan ahead. With
thousands of private aircraft expected to be traveling through two of the most popular local FBOs, Augusta Regional Airport (AGS) and Aiken Aviation Enterprises (AIK), flights book quickly and arrival slots and parking is limited.

Over the years, we’ve had the chance to interview the Director of Aviation Services at AGS and the Customer Service Supervisor at AIK, to ask them what passengers should expect when flying into the area during The Masters© week. They also gave us an inside look at what it takes to prepare for such a large international event and how they will accommodate all of the additional travelers. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy of The Masters© Golf Tournament

FlyPrivate®: “What are you doing to prepare for the influx of
traffic expected during The Masters© tournament?”

AGS Director of Aviation Services: “We start the planning process as early as August. We review items from the previous year’s event and continually make tweaks to the operations to ensure that the proper staffing levels and supplies are sufficient. We have implemented an aircraft parking reservation system which will help maximize ramp space utilization.”

AIK Customer Service Supervisor: “To prepare for the influx of traffic during The Masters tournament, Aiken Aviation takes many steps to ensure a convenient and pleasurable experience for each individual. Aiken Aviation brings in additional fuel trucks for speedy fueling, additional transportation to transport passengers and pilots to and from their aircraft if needed, and the line and customer service hours are extended to accommodate those arriving or departing outside of our normal operating hours.”

FlyPrivate®: “Do you plan to ramp up staff for the event? If so,
approximately by how much?”

AGS: “Yes, we bring in additional fuelers and customer service support. We normally operate with 15 employees but that number increases to 65 during Master’s week.”

AIK: “Aiken Aviation is doubling its staff for the event in order to swiftly and professionally accommodates each aircraft.”

Photo courtesy of The Masters© Golf Tournament

FlyPrivate®: “On average, how many flights in and out of AGS and AIK do you expect during these dates?”

AGS:Augusta Regional Airport typically has about 2000 operations during the week and we’re expecting a slight improvement for this year.”

AIK: Aiken Aviation has a little over 400 arrivals during the week of The Masters. This year we are looking forward to another great week of flights.”

FlyPrivate®: “Which dates are the most popular for flights?
(i.e. What are the busiest days?)”

AGS: “Thursday is probably the busiest day because it’s the first official day for tournament play followed by the last day, Sunday evening. It’s hustle and bustle to ensure that every flight is ready for departure. It’s an amazing site to see airplanes departing one right after another.”

AIK: “The latter part of the week is the most popular for flights, when the practice rounds are over and the rounds take place on that Thursday,
Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

FlyPrivate®: “Do you have any preferred vendors you would
recommend?”

AGS: “I couldn’t pick just one, because they all do a nice job, but what I can say is that the southern hospitality will definitely be in full effect!”

FlyPrivate®: (Check out the Masters Housing Bureau for properties to rent during your visit to The Masters©.)

AIK: “Aiken Aviation recommends Enterprise Rent-A-Car service as they will be on site that week for all your needs. There are many wonderful hotels in the area such as the Town Place Suites and the Hilton Garden Inn, just to name a few.  Downtown Aiken offers beautiful scenery with an array of unique and delicious eateries from coffee shops, diners and delis to three course gourmet restaurants.”

Photo courtesy of The Masters© Golf Tournament

FlyPrivate®: “Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about AGS and AIK that may be helpful when planning their trip?”

AGS: “Plan carefully and super early with respect to lodging, and
transportation. Most importantly enjoy your golf experience, most people never get the opportunity.”

AIK: “It is a pleasant surprise at how easy and convenient it is to fly in and out of Aiken, plus we are an easy, non-congested drive (about 27 minutes) on Interstate 20 to get to the Augusta National Golf Course. Our prompt and personalized attention along with our Southern hospitality is always a delight. We are well-known for our superior customer service and we will strive to make all trips to Aiken, SC a memorable one.”

Spring Travel Plans?

Gulfstream G450
It’s that time again…The snow is starting to melt, the temperature is slowly getting warmer, and many of you are planning your spring migration back north. As winter finally fades, we wanted to be the first to welcome you to spring.
 
We are ready and at your service for your next trip and strongly encourage you to contact us now for your best flight options and pricing. Private aviation is very popular at this time of year. Most south to north flights are booked during the same weeks every year and we want to make sure you get the aircraft you need, when you need it.
 
For those new to private aviation, FlyPrivate has many benefits to you, your family and/or fellow travelers.
  • Significantly reduce your door to door travel time.
  • Experience the unmatched comfort and luxury of
    private jet charter, especially ideal for anyone who travel has become more difficult for due to mobility, petsbaggage, or other matters.   
  • See how our unique business model sets us apart from the rest. Here are 15 Reasons to FlyPrivate.
Please call or email our Client Services team right away so we can provide you with the best flight options and quotes to suit your trip.
 

Spring Travel Reminders

  • NCAA Basketball Championship: March 31st – April 2nd – San Antonio, TX
  • The PGA Masters: April 2nd-8th – Augusta, GA
  • NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin: April 11th
  • NBA Playoffs Begin: April 14th
  • The Kentucky Derby: May 5th – Louisville, KY
  • Wimbledon: July 2nd – July 15th – Wimbledon, England

Popular Spring and Summer Travel Destinations

  • Europe
  • Caribbean
  • New England
  • Canada
  • Colorado
  • Michigan

Early booking allows us to provide creative options which may not be available later in the season. We look forward to working with you!

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

 

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Q & A with Jan Jones – Part 10 – Collaboration: How Executive Assistants Help Build A Strong Company Culture

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed international executive assistant to well-known business people, including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1Part 9!

FlyPrivate: To what extent does it make sense to collaborate with other executive assistants to meet common company-wide goals?

Jan Jones: Assistants collaborating with each other makes complete sense! Communication and cooperation are essential attributes of an effective executive assistant. It cannot be otherwise because the role of the executive assistant includes being a facilitator and a
communication channel for their executive and their organization. Assistants play a vital role in reminding the organization they must do what’s in the best interest of the entire company, not just a
particular department or division.

We know that fully engaged employees have higher productivity
levels, resulting in reduced absenteeism and higher profitability.
Collaborative assistants can have an impact in this regard. It could be as simple as engaging in regular conversations with assistants in other departments. Talk about how your division is functioning. What strategies are you implementing? What challenges are you
experiencing? What projects are getting bogged down? Who are some of the star performers on the team? Who needs coaching?
Research shows that most managers don’t engage in strategy
discussions with their colleagues in other departments. An assistant who engages with fellow assistants can serve to close that
information gap. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about work. Take time to get to know each other on a personal level. Being part of an organization means you have common goals.
Collaborating to achieve those goals is smart business. As Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

We’ve all seen examples of assistants playing a role in bringing groups together. They work across boundaries and promote cross-department collaboration. They don’t buy into petty jealousies and suspicions. As a conduit to top management, they can help far-flung departments and locations feel less isolated. As a repository of
information many others don’t have, the EA is able to
judiciously offer guidance and input to other departments.

Sometimes assistants tell me that sharing information isn’t always welcomed. People feel threatened, or disloyal to their team if they share what’s going on. In these circumstances, trust needs to be built. If you use the information they share to get results for them, or improve their circumstances, they will certainly start to trust you and work with you. Without betraying confidentiality, I’m always willing to share information that is needed to get the job done, or, indeed, to make life easier for others. If you know a way to make a situation better, then do so. You’ll enjoy the wellbeing you feel from it.

I’m reminded of an assistant who told me about starting a job at a technology giant. The culture of the organization encouraged people to be fiercely competitive, always vying to get ahead at someone else’s expense. She said no assistant would help her for fear that she would look better than they did, or get ahead faster than they did. You were on your own. I can’t imagine working in such a brutal
environment where everyone is out for themselves. The company’s objectives are subverted by employees protecting their turf. Imagine what a breath of fresh air a capable, confident assistant who is not threatened by others and wants to cooperate would be to an
organization like that? It would cause a huge paradigm shift. It might feel like a herculean task, but such an assistant would catapult
themselves into a higher level position the minute the company starts to feel the effects of this assistant’s outreach. Believe me. I’ve done it. It takes megatons of passion and energy and not everyone is up for it, but if you are, don’t hesitate. The rewards are immense and you’ll grow in stature and ability.

I saw an article by EA trainer, Adam Fidler, which referenced
assistants befriending each other. Adam said, “Share your knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm far and wide. The more you give out the more you get back. Share all your best tips and experience with another EA. Being secretive and defensive creates the wrong energy and if you take the time to share information, and work as a team-spirited EA, you’ll command respect and be seen as a true professional.”

The nature of the EA role is to act as a hub. This means assistants are poised to share information, facilitate decision-making and help avoid bottlenecks, whether it is inter-department, or company-wide. Helping someone in another department gets the job done faster. It facilitates transparency, gives you insight into how they function and where inefficiencies may lie that you can help overcome. When
executives see you working with their assistant, or if they know they can finally get a long-awaited answer simply by their assistant
picking up the phone to you, they’ll notice. Make no mistake about it. They’ll be talking about you in the boardroom as someone who makes things happen. This is how, step-by-step, you get your seat at that proverbial table that many assistants lust after.

One thing that may affect assistants being able to perform this
function of facilitator is the number of assistants who say they don’t read their executives’ emails, and who meet with their executives once a week or less. If you are working like this, you are subject to only knowing what the executive shares with you, or picking up
information indirectly. If you are to serve as a conduit throughout the organization, you must be on top of what’s going on, otherwise you will not be as effective in that role. Another factor is assistants who are so widely focused on interacting with the organization at large that they forget who they are in place to support. Don’t neglect your responsibilities to your primary team members in your quest to be a company-wide ally. Your immediate team must remain your first priority. Keep them supported, assured and strengthened in the knowledge that you are firmly invested in the partnership. With this assurance, they will support and encourage your efforts to be a
company-wide resource.

Author: Jan Jones

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones

_________________________________________________________________________

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

College Tours on Your Time

College ToursAre you heading out to explore universities and colleges with your children this spring? If college tours are on your agenda, consider flying with us to make the most out of your campus visits.

At FlyPrivate, our expert Client Services Team is excited to help you plan your students’ college tours. Let us help you visit more schools in less time by planning the perfect itinerary with you. Since
universities are scattered across the country, chartering a private jet enables you to see multiple schools in one day or weekend. Since
private jets can fly into smaller airports, we can also help eliminate the driving time from the plane to the prospective campuses. In
addition, we would be happy to arrange car service around campus if you have a need or would like a local guide.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore all of the options with your child and spend quality time together before they head off to school. Booking early allows us to provide creative solutions – contact us for pricing and options for your custom itinerary today!

Request a Flight Quote

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

FlyPrivate to Super Bowl LII!

Are you heading to the Super Bowl 52? Let FlyPrivate arrange all of your private aviation to the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN where the two best teams in the NFL, the New England Patriots and
Philadelphia Eagles, will compete for the coveted Super Bowl Championship. 

If you’re planning to attend Super Bowl LII, please keep these tips in mind when booking your private jet charter:

  • Book early. Availability of private jets flying to the
    biggest sporting event of the year is limited and jets will book rapidly.
  • Do your homework up front. Many first-time fliers will be waiting on tickets and accommodations.
    Knowing costs and availability ahead of time will save you the hassle later and allow you to book swiftly when you are ready.
  • Avoid game-day travel. If you can avoid flying in and out of the Minneapolis area airports on Super Bowl
    Sunday, February 4, 2018, traveling will be a lot less challenging. The host airport is generally closed to private jets on Super Bowl Sunday due to lack of ramp space. Additional aircraft restrictions are often in effect even after the game. Alternate airports also fill up quickly and a reservation system for private jets flying in and out of nearby airports will likely be in effect. Keep in mind that your final destination could be hours away from the stadium, but we will try our best to help you to plan accordingly.
  • Plan on the weather. This goes without saying in
    February, but weather can cause unexpected delays. Due to winter weather in Minnesota, deicing may be required and further delays may be experienced due to the demand for deicing services. The crew and FBO will be working diligently to make sure your flights fly as close to schedule as possible. Be aware the de-icing fees will be an added expense. Avoiding game-day travel will help ensure that you don’t miss a minute of the Super Bowl action.

citation-jets

If you’re planning to see the league’s top teams battle it out, consider FlyPrivate to get you there and back with out unique and flexible “pay as you fly” business model. There are no deposits required to join. Find the best aircraft values through our values partnerships, all with the top-notch service you deserve.

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

 

10 Most Popular Private Jets

There are over 3 million trips flown in the US on private aircraft each year. These 10 models are flown most often.


When you use FlyPrivate you have access to these and many other great aircraft. Allow our experience to work for you.
 
For more information check out our brochure or contact us with any questions. You can also request a flight quote on our website or by giving us a call!
 

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.